The new year is here, and it’s hardly believable. I have been stressing to my husband that 2015 was such an eventful year, not just for wedding photos, but with the birth of our daughter and all, to have him clarify that indeed, our daughter was born in 2014. Clearly, it’s been a whirlwind of a year.
But I’m finally caught up and am thrilled about 2016. I’m not really one for “New Year resolutions” because I don’t fully trust myself, and I hate failing. But I am an “it’s-post-season-my-home-life-is-back” sorta girl, and while I absolutely thrive on the rush of photographing weddings, editing, scheduling, and keeping our heads above water at home, I am excited to bask in the quietness “of this still small moment,” and reflect rather than “run, run, and repeat.” I make little lists throughout the season of all the things I’d like to do when the season slows down enough for me to focus a bit more on indulging myself in “house projects.” So far, no item that was not done during wedding season is complete, and I have merely enjoyed more little moments with my babies. Trust me, building forts is way more exciting than stripping stair treads, can I get an “AMEN!”
The end of 2015 not only brings me back to my daughter’s birth in 2014, but it also reminds me of my first and only surgery in 2009. Upon waking from anesthesia, my husband likes to remind me of the “scene” I caused in my whaling and repeated chant: “I’m so grateful! I’m just so grateful!” He claims this continued for an uncomfortable period of time. But indeed, I remember waking from my operation just feeling overcome with gratitude for making it out alive and for the doctors who made it happen.
So while I may not carry on in fits of whaling and chant, I have felt a similar, “internal” mantra in 2015: “I am so grateful, I am just so grateful” for all this year has been. Being a wedding photographer has allowed me into spaces and people’s lives in such a delicate and special way that prior to having experienced such, I could not possibly have known how immensely rewarding such experiences could be. These days are people’s wedding days. Obviously. But when you unpack the magnitude of such a day, there is just so much rolled in: fear, excitement, mourning for those not there and for the childhood season you’re leaving behind, heirlooms, anticipation about what sixty-five more years with this one person means to your own person and the rush and fear this realization simultaneously brings, coming to terms with the fact that you’ve found a forever friend who “gets you” and loves you not in spite of you, but because of you. It’s seeing friends and family members that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen, and in some cases, reopening broken and painful relationships that have suffered for so many years until this point. I’ve photographed weddings where I’ve been told, “If my mother shows up, please ignore her and do not take any photos with her,” others where a parent has just recently reunited with their child getting married, some where the closest thing to a father walking his lovely daughter down the aisle was pinning an old hankie to the inside of the bride’s dress, and others where a bride’s confidant has been her mother, and a father, a groom’s best man. Perhaps more than any other day in a child’s life, competing closely perhaps with high school graduation, a wedding day is the one event that forces a child to reflect on his or her relationship with parents. All this beautiful complexity in one day is enough to make this photographer wife mama melt! Because, we’re not just photographers capturing your wedding photos. I am a mother, daughter, and wife who is pouring myself into your world for a day and wrapping your experience so gently around the schema of my own. And I am just “so grateful” I’ve been allowed to do so.
Here’s to an exciting 2016 to come and a truly memorable 2015 to live up to! As a celebration for each, I’ve compiled my favorite image from each wedding with a little note for why I love it so much. Now, part of the basis of this game is a complete farce, because it’s nearly impossible for me to pick just one favorite for most weddings. So, I do not claim these shots to be the BEST photos of the day; each image is merely one that stood out to me as memorable for one reason or another. Because again, experience is about sharing, right?!
Enjoy, Friends! And thanks for sharing your world with me!
I could not have started out the season with a more welcoming and loving couple. I love this image because I love the way her dress twirls, I love the groom’s expression on his face: one of complete love and admiration, with a little twist of a goofy, “let’s do this life together, dangit!” The background also captures some of the bride’s favorite little people, which I love. I picked this image because my other favorite was taken by my illustrious assistant and I didn’t feel right posting it. 🙂
I wouldn’t be telling the whole truth if I didn’t tell you that I wanted to secretly steal all of this bride’s gorgeous dress, shoes, and jewelry. When I think of VP’s “ideal client,” this couple’s totally classic look totally fit our “profile” of perfection. Her dress was one of the most unique of the season, so while I loved tons of images from this wedding, I picked this one because you can see a lot of the detail in the dress AND the groom’s priceless expression of love to his new bride. LOVE THIS SHOT. The edit also resembles a film edit, which I appreciate.
The coloring of this next image, and the set of shots that came with it are some, if not THE most favorite of the season. Everything to me worked flawlessly in these images. Let’s start with how the bride looks like a goddess for starters. I wish I had her perfect skin, her perfect lips, her perfect hair… And I love the way these two nuzzle in to one another. To me, this image matched their ceremony, which let. me. tell. YOU, there was not a dry eye in the house, folks. Phew! She talked about supporting him as a Bronx police officer, and he talked about putting her first above the stresses which come with his line of duty. INTENSE, friends. Intense. And this shot brought me back to this memorable ceremony, so I love it.
I am a fortunate one to have had my dad to walk me down the aisle. I remember the nerves, the support of him next to me, gently leading my “jelly legs” as I a million thoughts consumed the moment. I love the expression on this bride’s face; it brought me back to my own wedding aisle moment. I also love the lights that we used, Hendrick’s Chapel, and the proud look on this papa’s face.
My most favorite weddings are usually the ones where I get to return to families to capture another sibling’s wedding. By the second, or sometimes third in very special cases, I begin feeling like a little junior member of the family. It’s what brings this “job” full circle for me. Again, it’s the epitome of connecting with people and maintaining a sense of community, which is so very important to what I need from Vrooman Photography. I love this image, because I look at it, and I remember the rain. TONS. and TONS. of RAIN. All day rain, heavy, dark, pouring rain. And I remember a lovely Sims Hall that saved our soggy behinds and created a most PERFECT backdrop for this stunningly simple and classic look. The giant pillars and brick were an asset, not a soggy second to something else. Thank you, Sims for making this day perfection in terms of formal photos!!
These two could not have been a sweeter, more genuine duo and set of individuals. Most of their day, albeit gorgeous celebration inside, was a bit rainy on the outside. I love this shot because I think about the two seconds we “went for it” and pulled them, literally for 4 minutes, before being announced, because I knew that’s all the time we had and therefore all the time we needed, to get some really romantic and lovely images outside, and they were so daring and trusting, and it makes me oh, so grateful to have crossed paths with couples who really, really put the fate of their wedding photos in your hands and truly trust your crazy “just four minutes” call.
This wedding was my first, and only to date, wedding where BOTH the bride and groom were Navy military. Their story sticks, because it is so different from my world, and I so appreciate all they’ve had to endure to stick together. The groom’s family has a history of “lifers,” as his dad and brother are also Navy, and if I’m not mistaken, this sword is his dad’s. There were so many fun shots to choose from, but this one so straightforwardly exemplifies two soldiers coming together as one. I also can’t shuck that amazing bokeh butter in the back…says the super nerd photographer.
So this is one of my all-time favorite bridal party photos, because I just love everything about it. I love the colors of these dresses with the carefully selected greens, with the green, back-lit light, the bride’s GORGEOUS hair… apparently, I have a thing for hair and lips.
So these are actually my cousins by marriage. Small world, I know! This photo is possibly top five favorite images of the season. Thems big words, I hear you! But I think I stand by it! We walked down to the dock to take sunset photos, and the groom ran after the birds to scare them off the dock…and because that’s just sort of what he’d do anyways. She’s standing back in complete and utter adoration for his antics. This image captures THEM. And for me aesthetically, I cannot get enough of the colors of the sky, her shoes, the birds, her dress, which was her grandma’s and her mom’s, and her aunt’s, in all its glorious and authentic satin. I just love it. I don’t care that it’s soft on focus and that the horizon is slanted. It doesn’t matter to me.
Oh man, so many tears for this one! This is my steadfast, right-hand woman who has helped me capture some of my finest work (remember photo 1, and the image I didn’t post because I didn’t take it? Yea, this beautiful bride gets the credit). And I was not more honored to capture anyone’s wedding day this season than I was to capture hers. This bride is so full of love, kindness, such authenticity and genuineness. She loves big, works harder than most people I’ve encountered, and knows where she’s going, why she’s going there, and how to get there the fastest. I am so incredibly thankful and grateful for this lady in my life. I had way too many favorites to share, but I love this shot because part of their smiles are out of joy that they’re getting married, and the other part is because I pulled out all the stops on her, and it was sort of an out-of-body experience posing these two where she’s usually the one helping me pose a shot like this, and they’re kind of laughing at me as I set them up. It’s just a special moment, you know?
I’m not sure if I’m supposed to pick unabashed favorites, but this wedding definitely wins the prize for most unique, chill, and genuinely…awesome. The bride was very apposed to anything cliche, which I love. She wanted “real,” moments without all the riffraff that can muddy a good day. And I totally get her! When doing the agenda six weeks prior, she opted not to do the official “first look,” even though they were seeing one another prior to the ceremony, unless I thought it was “necessary” or happened organically. Well my friends, part of my job is being at the right place at the right time. I was in with the bride capturing last minute touch ups and I heard the groom calling for his soon-to-be-bride because he couldn’t find his tie (true story.. a bowtie to be exact). And there, before my very eyes, I saw the old door, her back to me, the pink walls, the fact that they were in his parent’s house on Alexandria Bay…and then she put her hands up to welcome his first display of his soon-to-be-wife, and I almost peed my pants when I saw all the perfection come together before my eyes. “So grateful” for this moment, totally un-posed, totally organic, just how the bride had wanted.
I love this couple. I love a bride who knows what she wants and is not afraid to share her vision with us. And when her vision matches so fiercely with mine? It’s like all the stars, just plop right together, and quietly hum my happiest song! This was indeed the case for this couple. A stunning bride, a stunning groom, and a bride who knew from the start, how important her wedding images would be to her, her family, and her family to come. This is why we do what we do! They chose to get married where they both attended college and met. And, when we exited the ceremony, walked under this arbor and the sun was at its most perfect level…I… could barely contain myself. I definitely nerded over the light more than once during this period, and they were ever so gracious in tolerating my excitement. I love this shot for lots of reasons, but I do know that the groom is not necessarily the hugest fan in having his photos taken. But in this shot? He is just so dang handsome!
For this couple, I wanted so badly to use a photo with the groom as well, because he is one of my most favorite grooms of all time (we had met more than once before the wedding, but upon seeing him for the first time on the wedding, I was in my business mode, strictly focused on getting things done, and quickly. I can’t remember what I asked him, but his response was (with a giant smile and hug), “well first of all, hello!” Stopped my business socks right in their tracks! But alas, I just cannot take my eyes off this image. I feel like it encapsulates this bride’s heart. To me, it is an image of perfection, because of who is behind the camera, and all the joy she carried that day. I just love this image.
This bride was so excited about her wedding day, as all brides are (or should be!). But this bride’s excitement was beyond contagious. And, she had the BIGGEST window I’ve ever had the privilege of taking advantage of in a hotel room. I love this moment between her sweet mother and her lovely bride! Let’s face it, a lot of American weddings focus on the bride and her dad. So when there is an opportunity like this one, where this sweet mom can hold her baby girl one last time before she becomes a wife, well, I’m going to grab it!
Albeit cold, it was tough for me to select a “favorite” from this day, because the light was just so magical the entire day! But I chose this one because there’s something really beautiful about the simplicity of natural light, natural love, and natural beauty. These two totally completed one another, and it was such an honor being able to capture the promises they made to one another. I also love her dress, and her veil and really love that this shot had gorgeous light AND lots of detail in her dress and veil. Which by the way, her grandmother MADE her veil. I knooow!
I have SO many favorites for this wedding. There were several aspects of their day that matched our ideal VP look. But aside from her stunning dress, adorable hair, antique accents around their venue at Springside Inn , what stood out to me the most was the bride’s repeated emphasis on family. She continually mentioned her papa and how important his first look photos were with her. I will forever hold them memory close to my heart: dad and grandfather seeing their beautiful daughter and granddaughter for the first time on her wedding day. Priceless, friends, priceless.
My heart is full with goodness, much in part to the unforgettable couples and family members of couples I’ve met this season. Thank you, thank you for allowing me to hold these special memories. With much love!